The wisdom in suffering

On the cover of The End of Suffering, by Scott Cairns, is a quote that goes like this:

The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering, but a supernatural use for it. — Simone Weil

There’s an ocean of truth in that statement, and here’s a cupful we’ve noted in recent weeks. Wisdom doesn’t happen to you until you work out the truth in your suffering. Let’s say you’re in a situation that provokes you. Stuck in it. Chances are your first wave of prayers will focus on deliverance.

But as you seek the truth, you remember that God is sovereign over your situation. He allows it. Arranged it. Uses it to refine your personality. Do you have the humility to trust God with yourself?

We are not victims. Nor are we trapped in most situations. If our line at the tollbooth is too long we can switch lanes. But certain things are beyond avoidance . . . and those things allow us to believe in God’s goodness, sovereignty, and love. Such belief is the weight that, with frequent lifting, yields wisdom.

Students may not catch this idea when you tell it to them, but they don’t miss much when it comes to modeling . . .